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Truly a Treasure Trove & Toll-free!

treasure chest

This week I rediscovered The Portal to Texas History, a simply amazing repository of more than HALF A MILLION items FREE TO EXPLORE courtesy of the University of North Texas. And it's not limited to Texas and genealogy info. There are donated materials from libraries, private collectors, and museums about or from all 50 states and 152 countries covering 71 decades, and it is super easy to use. There are pages on how to use the site with pictures showing you exactly what to do, so don't be intimidated!

Portal Explore Overview

The "37 Resource Types" include TV news scripts, postcards, journals, letters, maps, pamphlets, newspapers, and technical drawings. There are several recordings of oral histories you can listen to. I even stumbled upon a Jerry Jeff Walker newsletter featuring a letter from Steven Fromholz and 827 Fromholz-related items including audio and video recordings. That's pretty esoteric Texas-based music fan stuff there!

I do a lot of research in East Texas and was delighted to find the newsletters of the East Texas Genealogical Society from the 80's and 90's were included for searching. It's all indexed so you can do boolean searches by names and/or locations, etc.

You can search through 6,253 "Physical Objects" and find everything from medals, to collectable pins, cheerleading equipment, ancient coins, LGBT items, and all kinds of military memorabilia. Everything is cited as to source, license, and usability, and they even give you tools to copy, paste, share, cite, post, all right there on the item's page.

Since I am an Ireland research junkie, I clicked on the "Countries" button to see what they might have there, and then clicked the "Decades" filter to see what they had. The oldest item was a map showing Great Britain and Hadrian's Wall. Not surprisingly, the decade with the most items was the 70's which included a lot of news items about "The Troubles."

Irish items by decade

Next I clicked on the Photograph collection for Ireland. Look at this beauty here (click on it to enlarge it)! What a great image on a glass slide from a century ago!

This photograph is part of the collection entitled: Hardin-Simmons Glass Lantern Slide Collection and was provided by the Hardin-Simmons University Library to The Portal to Texas History, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries.

The Portal to Texas History also has a Facebook page, and you can sign up to get their "periodic" newsletter and "get news about our collections, new partnerships, information on research, trivia, awards, and more." Again, it is free to use, but they will cheerfully accept a donation should you care to make one. This site truly has something for everybody! Here is a link for your convenience. Beware! You could lost for days in here!

Thanks for sharing some time with me again this week. Keep those cards and letters coming, and please do LIKE and SHARE this info about a great free resource for everyone.


Leslie Ryan for a free quote on your family tree!

No Compensation for any of these links!


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